Simeon has been a boiling under the surface for several days now. Earlier in the day, he blew his top and punched me so hard in the chest, it took my breath. He continued punching me as I carried him up the stairs, but with less zeal. I just kept whispering that it’s OK and “I love you.”
The fit was rather short, so we fed him lunch and put him to nap before going to a family dinner.
We had some small power struggles during the gathering, but when it felt like things were getting out of control (he dumped a bottle of bubble bath in MILly’s bath tub, which was actually not as bad as when he dumped three bottles on our bathroom floor a few hours before) we decided to leave. Sometimes the over stimulation gets to him.
We thought we’d escaped a major melt down and could have relaxing family time before starting our hectic week.
No such luck.
When we got home, Leo and I had our hands full of the day’s stuff. Simeon wanted to be carried up the stairs. We told him that we’d hold him once we got upstairs and put everything down, but that he would have to walk up himself.
Uh oh. In a flash his eyes were vacant.
We told him to come on up the stairs and we’d have a good snuggle on the couch. That’s when the moaning began.
Soon he was in a full-fledge rage. Screaming and bellowing and throwing things. Stomping and hitting himself. Leo and I went with a new tactic: we snuggled on the couch and watched movie trailers on the computer. When he’s that far gone, nothing else seems to work, and maybe he just needed to be able to get all the icky feelings out.
An hour and 10 minutes later, Simeon dragged his exhausted, wretched self up the stairs and into our waiting arms. We wrapped him in the biggest, longest, tightest hug four arms could provide.
I think it was a combination of both parents having visitation this week, Claudius leaving abruptly and so much stimulation at the party. Or maybe it was just a Sunday night. The kid’s hurt. The kid’s angry. He has the right to be. I get that. He needs to get it out.
He’s angry at his parents, but he can’t show them. He can’t punch them and scream at them and break their things, so we take it. And we love him, so we take it with joy. Not with cheerfulness, but with deep joy. I will gladly stand in the gap and absorb his anger for his parents. I will help him to manage his rage. I will love him in spite of the pain he causes. I will gladly pick him up when he can’t walk because he’s worn himself out screaming. I will absorb the horrible, hateful, unseemly brokeness of his family into mine. Leo and I will do this, because it’s been done for us. Praise the Lord.
In a flash, our happy boy was back! Amazing. Heartbreaking. Exhuasting.
Regression my old friend, I don’t think I’ll miss you when you’re gone!